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Computer help needed!
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Computer help needed! - November 27, 2007, 12:40 PM

I have a small music studio at home, and my main computer is built around a Supermicro H8DCE motherboard with two AMD Opteron 270s and 4 x 1GB Corsair ram modules and a bunch of harddrives.

Well, the other day, the computer decided to not boot up. It does not seem like the MB even gets to the bios check routine (nothing shows up on my monitor, which goes through a Matrox Parhelia 128 card), and I don't hear any beeps, clicks or other familiar noises that usually goes with the bootup process. I removed all HD and other peripheral connections, and nothing. I then removed all memory modules, hoping to get a certain number of beeps from the motherboard, indicating that there was a memory error, but there was only silence.

On another board (a music board), someone mentioned that the powersupply may be bad, so I bought a new one, but am having the same problems. Here's the thread I started at that board: http://forum.nuendo.com/phpbb2/viewt...9aef10a7bef1a1.

My lay-person's educated guess is that the motherboard is dead. But the H8DCE is pretty expensive ($300), so I would like to test it before replacing it.

Does anyone know how to test a system (including the motherboard) to determine what part of the computer is the problem?

Thanks!


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B
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November 27, 2007, 12:59 PM

Sounds like the motherboard took a shit man. If you've already replaced the power supply and you still aren't getting it to even boot the Bios (the platform with which operability is established between hardware nodes inside the box) then it sounds like the motherboard is A) not recieving power B) unable to use any power because it is broken OR C) your processor might be bad... is it overclocked at all?

My bets are on B.


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November 27, 2007, 01:01 PM

Had the same issue on my home studio system. The mother board shit the bed. I replaced mine with an even better one and all was well.

Good luck!


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November 27, 2007, 01:05 PM

Motherboard of cpu's. I'd try taking out each of the cpu's and seeing if that changes anything.
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November 27, 2007, 01:09 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by gixrB
Sounds like the motherboard took a shit man. If you've already replaced the power supply and you still aren't getting it to even boot the Bios (the platform with which operability is established between hardware nodes inside the box) then it sounds like the motherboard is A) not recieving power B) unable to use any power because it is broken OR C) your processor might be bad... is it overclocked at all?

My bets are on B.
Ben, I never overclocked the system (it was powerful enough for what I needed). However, I keep the studio and the computer in my unfinished basement, so it gets some dust going down there, and one of the cooling fans (for processor 1) pretty much took a tank, and I did not notice it for some time. The fan kept on spinning, but not as fast as it should. I replaced the fan, but have not removed that processor to test the other to see if either of the processors have tanked, or if it is the motherboard. I didn't do it mostly because I don't have any heatsink cement/grease to replace what's on there now.

JohnnySpeed, if I knew that both processors and the memory are ok, I would seek out another motherboard.

So, is there a way for me to test whether the processors or the motherboard are bad, or do you know of a place where I would be able to get some reliable opinions?


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November 27, 2007, 01:14 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Musikkant
Ben, I never overclocked the system (it was powerful enough for what I needed). However, I keep the studio and the computer in my unfinished basement, so it gets some dust going down there, and one of the cooling fans (for processor 1) pretty much took a tank, and I did not notice it for some time. The fan kept on spinning, but not as fast as it should. I replaced the fan, but have not removed that processor to test the other to see if either of the processors have tanked, or if it is the motherboard. I didn't do it mostly because I don't have any heatsink cement/grease to replace what's on there now.

JohnnySpeed, if I knew that both processors and the memory are ok, I would seek out another motherboard.

So, is there a way for me to test whether the processors or the motherboard are bad, or do you know of a place where I would be able to get some reliable opinions?
Try and buy a board local; they usually have full return policies. Sounds like you burned a proc; the board should boot with one though. Go to microcenter and pick up some grease for $7.
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November 27, 2007, 01:18 PM

I agree it sounds like a CPU or motherboard issue, particularly if it has been overheated (the fan problem you mentioned). You can spend money buying pieces which might not fix anything, or get it evaluated. I take my serious problems (like this) to Affinity Computers in Herndon. They do great work and are pretty reasonable. Also pretty good prices on replacement parts. Call Bill or John at 703 397-9451 and explain your problems. They usually do the initial tests (MB continuity, CPU function) pretty cheaply.
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November 27, 2007, 01:20 PM

Unfortunately, it happens all too often. The fatherboard takes off, leaving behind a single motherboard. It's a shame, really.


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November 27, 2007, 01:25 PM

freaking motherboards, i just fixed a friends with the same problem not too long ago.


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November 27, 2007, 01:31 PM

Basically Kenneth here are your options:

- Keep nickle and diming the problem... you may find that buying a new powersupply or fan works but you may spend $400 and never figure it out. There is a high probability it's the motherboard over a processor because a motherboard is complex, supports mutiple functions and has many more points of failure. I'd replace that if I were you, if that wasn't the problem you can probably sell it on here and lose $20.

- Take it to a shop, they will have spare procs, boards, diagnostic tools, etc. Pay $90 to get it looked at and still need to buy the parts. The nice thing here is you're goin to pay about $100 to know what's wrong. Return the power supply and get your money back if you can.


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November 27, 2007, 01:33 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by JPVaccaro
Unfortunately, it happens all too often. The fatherboard takes off, leaving behind a single motherboard. It's a shame, really.


Hahahah! Suddenly, I feel so guilty, even though I promise I have never left either a child or mother alone!


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November 27, 2007, 01:36 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by gixrB
Take it to a shop, they will have spare procs, boards, diagnostic tools, etc. Pay $90 to get it looked at and still need to buy the parts. The nice thing here is you're goin to pay about $100 to know what's wrong. Return the power supply and get your money back if you can.
This is my preferred option. Besides Affinity Computers, do you have any suggestions on a place I should turn to?


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November 27, 2007, 01:36 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Musikkant


Hahahah! Suddenly, I feel so guilty, even though I promise I have never left either a child or mother alone!
It's something you never hear talked about. Why? Because it's not "PC". (sorry, I just had to)


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November 27, 2007, 01:57 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by JPVaccaro
It's something you never hear talked about. Why? Because it's not "PC". (sorry, I just had to)
You're on a roll today, JV!


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November 27, 2007, 02:00 PM

Kenneth,
I talked to John...$65 diagnostic fee. The $65 is applied to the repair if they due the work (parts & labor less $65). Usually 2-3 hours labor for that kind of repair. He said it sounds like the MB, but it also sounds exactly like a problem I had a while back when my AMD 3600+ cpu burned up after a fan failed!!
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